I have a heavy 10 days of commitments ahead of me, including helping with a workshop, and running another – something where my skills and experience are rather limited. I’ve also got two Morning Prayer services this week (Wednesday and Sunday), and a meeting about taking funerals… the impending Vacancy is going to telescope what was going to be a gentle training (beyond the Diocesan CMD course) into something a lot more urgent. If there are any clergy near Yateley who wouldn’t mind me “sitting in” on any funerals/bereavement visits over the next few months I would really appreciate it!
Anyway, my intention is to preach the same/similar sermon to both Morning Prayer congregations this week because I simply don’t have time to do anything else. There is one parishioner that may well be at both services, and when this happened previously I apologised to her before the second service on the basis that “this might seem strangely familiar”. She seemed quite happy.
However, it has been suggested to me that I should not apologise for the exigencies of ministerial necessity. I think the idea was that it is unprofessional, and creates unrealistic ideals. But, this has been troubling me. I don’t see why people shouldn’t anticipate something fresh at each time of worship, at least if they are coming on separate days of the week. Equally I know that God can say different things to different people through the same sermon, and therefore presumably different things to the same person when the sermon is repeated.
I was taught to apologise when I’ve failed to do something to the best of my ability – preaching the same sermon twice in a week will be the best I can give this week, but it is not ideal in my eyes, and thus I feel the need to apologise.
Which I suppose begs the question, what is an apology? Surely it is a seeking after forgiveness? And what is wrong in seeking that where we feel we have failed in what we perceive are people’s expectations, even if those expectations might be either only in our own minds, or if real, then unrealistic? Surely nothing.
See, I’m muddled in my thinking – the only thing that doesn’t change is the necessity of having to repeat the sermon… or reflection or whatever it turns out to be!
Took the time to have a lovely evening family walk before dusk tonight. No Ringlet butterflies yet in “tussock field” (the anniversary of first sighting last year) but I guess they will be late like everything else this year. G took some great damselfly photo’s, so I’ve popped one up here. We saw the local Cuckoo tonight as well as heard it, which was a treat. Honey-dog also brought home a tick but we managed to knock it off her before it took hold, so G could photograph that for school! She has since had a dose of stuff to hopefully keep them from taking up residence!! This might be of use to someone, so just for the record…